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Shady Work - Recent Dealership Visit

aloha_from_bradley

Go Kart Newbie
Location
AZ
Hello All,

Today I had the R in for an alignment at the dealership. I had my dash cam rolling the entire time. Aside from some rude comments, there were a few major items I noticed.

1. I got the car back and the steering wheel is way off to the right. As if the tech did it on purpose.

2. The technician went for a 25 min "test drive" after the service was finished. No romping on the car, just casually driving around all over the place for almost a half hour for no reason.

3. When the technician arrived back at the shop he signaled his buddy to come by and stated "The steering wheel is off the the right, and I couldn't get the rear assist system to activate"

How should I handle this. Go straight to the service manager? Just ask for my money back and go somewhere else? Should I give them another shot at fixing the car? My service advisor asked me to bring the car back tomorrow morning so they can "fix" the issue. Any input helps.
 

theclutch

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Boston
Car(s)
Mk6 GTI, C63S AMG
Get them to fix it right this time by their "master tech". If they don't, then get your money back.
 

Agray

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Washington
I had a terrible experience with alignments at my local VW dealer too and oddly enough, the steering wheel not being centered was the main issue. I took it back to them twice for them to correct it and the “master tech” basically said “look all of the boxes line up green so it’s within spec”

after that I took it to a performance alignment shop that specializes in track prep and German vehicles and they were able to do they job properly.
 

KevinC

Autocross Champion
Location
The land of Wyatt Earp & Doc Holliday
Car(s)
'19 Golf R, '08 Z4MC
LH Miller? Ha. Bought both of my R's there. First one 4 years ago - great experience. 2nd one late last year - total goat rodeo. Completely incompetent scheisters now. I would be completely outraged in your shoes. And.. you have the hard evidence. I'd go straight to the service manager and see if he will respond appropriately. If he's not responsive, I'd go straight to the GM, or Larry's widow in Utah that owns the massive chain nowadays.

Earnhardt in Gilbert has been great to me, and their pricing is low for a dealership and very competitive with indy shops. They even post a bunch of pricing on the wall compared to some other local shops for various common jobs.
 

aloha_from_bradley

Go Kart Newbie
Location
AZ
Use Penske in north Scottsdale. They are excellent. Near 101 and Scottsdale Rd.

This is where I bought my R. They gave me a discount on the car even though VW was telling them they weren't allowed to. I know the service manager there and also the shop foreman, Brad. The service bays are immaculate, and everything is very clean and tighty. The only issue is that they are a full hour from where I live. It's a long drive to just get general maintenance done.

To KevinC's suggestion, I've also heard good things about Earnhardt in Gilbert, but that's also about an hour from me as well. A friend of mine is an Audi tech who says he knows a guy named Chris that's a tech over at the Cammelback store that does really great work. I might give them a shot for my bigger services like DSG.
 

aloha_from_bradley

Go Kart Newbie
Location
AZ
So I decided to go back and present the evidence directly to the service lead at the dealership. I explained what happened, what I found on the dash cam footage, and my concerns with the fact that the alignment was poorly executed.

1. He tried to make an excuse as to why a tech would drive the car for half an hour... didn't make sense to me. (The only bad part)

2. He then notified the shop foreman as to the situation and said he would be overseeing the alignment the second go around

3. The service lead personally test drove the car after the service was completed

4. Alignment is pretty good. Not perfect, but the wheel is almost straight. Just a tad off to the left, but I understand how difficult it is to get it perfect.

It seems they attempted to make it right and also took note of the fact that they were in the wrong for letting the car leave that way. They also told me it wasn't right for the tech to know that the work was poorly performed and still deliver the vehicle to the customer. This isn't the first run in I've had with this dealership, but I continue to bring my car here because it's the closest thing to my house on top of the fact that I purchased an extended warranty. I don't want to give them a reason to deny a warranty claim later down the road, but I also don't want to drive an hour to have simple services done.

I don't think I'll be returning to LHM after this most recent run in, however.
 

VDubberinDE

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Delaware
Car(s)
2018 VW Golf R
Personally for me, unless there is an issue (unusual tire wear, pulling to side, etc.) there is no reason for an alignment and I would never get one. People treat alignments like maintenance tasks and they are not on todays cars. They are actually complicated and unless you have a experienced , smart tech doing it, with the correct equipment, you will end up in a worse condition than when you brought it in. A steering wheel should be spot on. It does requires very expensive alignment equipment the dealer must purchase and many dealers cheapen out on the equipment.
Sounds like you need to find a better place to get you R serviced.
 

theclutch

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Boston
Car(s)
Mk6 GTI, C63S AMG
This is where I bought my R. They gave me a discount on the car even though VW was telling them they weren't allowed to. ...

Yeah, no. Dealerships can charge more or less than what the MSRP says. Manufacturers cannot dictate or not dictate discounts. However, if a dealership wants to go against any manufacturer advice (for ex, Porsche tells dealerships not to mark up cars. But if they do, they risk not getting any allocations), manufacturers can simply not send them cars to sell!

Personally for me, unless there is an issue (unusual tire wear, pulling to side, etc.) there is no reason for an alignment and I would never get one. People treat alignments like maintenance tasks and they are not on todays cars. They are actually complicated and unless you have a experienced , smart tech doing it, with the correct equipment, you will end up in a worse condition than when you brought it in. A steering wheel should be spot on. It does requires very expensive alignment equipment the dealer must purchase and many dealers cheapen out on the equipment.
Sounds like you need to find a better place to get you R serviced.

THIS. I would NEVER let anyone other than the "master tech" at a VW dealership do the alignment. OR, I would go to a raceshop who has a higher likelihood of "caring" about your alignment.
 

Golfs everyday

Autocross Newbie
Location
USA
That really sucks. I have an alignment shop near me that aligns anywhere from normal cars, race cars, to limo's. Their racks are embedded into the floor so even the lowest cars can get on it.

They have done many of my cars (including a Mk7 GTI I had before with lowering springs) and each time the car comes out perfect. Steering wheel is 100% dead noon too.
 

aloha_from_bradley

Go Kart Newbie
Location
AZ
Yeah, no. Dealerships can charge more or less than what the MSRP says. Manufacturers cannot dictate or not dictate discounts. However, if a dealership wants to go against any manufacturer advice (for ex, Porsche tells dealerships not to mark up cars. But if they do, they risk not getting any allocations), manufacturers can simply not send them cars to sell!

I've got a couple different friends who are in VW sales locally. One of them is a sales director. VW DID tell them not to mark down the Rs. I've heard it from multiple people. The dealerships that have marked them down lower than what VW thought was appropriate have received letters of reprimand.

So I don't know where you heard about manufacturers not being able to dictate or not dictate discounts, but unless you work for VW I would lean on someone who does.
 

aloha_from_bradley

Go Kart Newbie
Location
AZ
Personally for me, unless there is an issue (unusual tire wear, pulling to side, etc.) there is no reason for an alignment and I would never get one. People treat alignments like maintenance tasks and they are not on todays cars. They are actually complicated and unless you have a experienced , smart tech doing it, with the correct equipment, you will end up in a worse condition than when you brought it in. A steering wheel should be spot on. It does requires very expensive alignment equipment the dealer must purchase and many dealers cheapen out on the equipment.
Sounds like you need to find a better place to get you R serviced.

This is pretty standard. Just like balance. They are both fickle and difficult to get "perfect"

I installed Neuspeed springs on the R. This is the reason it went in for an alignment.

The dealership was using a Hunter alignment rack.
 

theclutch

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Boston
Car(s)
Mk6 GTI, C63S AMG
I've got a couple different friends who are in VW sales locally. One of them is a sales director. VW DID tell them not to mark down the Rs. I've heard it from multiple people. The dealerships that have marked them down lower than what VW thought was appropriate have received letters of reprimand.

So I don't know where you heard about manufacturers not being able to dictate or not dictate discounts, but unless you work for VW I would lean on someone who does.

Yeah... again, NO. That's not how dealerships work (at least here in the US; I just realized that maybe you're outside of the US which could be a different situation). You've heard it from a "friend of a friend of a friend" in sales. You believe everything that sales tells you? ;) They're not the actual dealership mgmt. Also, never trust anyone that makes money off of you. I'm actually IN the dealership mgmt business for about 18 years now nationally. Manufacturers cannot dictate the price once they sold/allocate it to the dealership. They can "suggest" and if the suggestion is not done, their only recourse is to not allocate more cars. Even then, they wouldn't want to alienate the really large volume dealerships that offer many brands. And you yourself said, "They gave me a discount on the car even though VW was telling them they weren't allowed to". So you just proved my point.

I'm trying to help educate you. But you can ultimately decide who you want to believe. Regardless, this is off topic.
 
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